Hpapun Situation Update: Bu Tho and Dwe Lo townships, April 2014 to February 2015

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Hpapun Situation Update: Bu Tho and Dwe Lo townships, April 2014 to February 2015

Published date:
Friday, September 11, 2015

This Situation Update describes events and issues occurring in Bu Tho and Dwe Lo townships, Hpapun District between April 2014 and February 2015, including the embezzlement of public funds, child labour, and fraudulent gambling.

  • Hpapun District administrator U Aung Than Zaw oversaw the construction of bridges in Bu Tho Township, paid for with government funds. He spent only 14,400,000 kyat (US $12,933.36) of the allotted 30,000,000 kyat (US $26,944.50) on actual bridge construction. The remaining 15,600,000 kyat (US $14,011.14) he used to fund his own business.
  • Two cases of child labour occurred in Hpapun District: one in S--- village, Ma Htaw village tract, Dwe Lo Township; and one in G--- village, Meh Klaw village tract, Bu Tho Township. The two underage workers were employed in construction work and the abuse occurred due to a lack of awareness regarding child labour rights.
  • On September 27th 2014, casino owner U Myint was arrested and taken into custody by Hpapun Township police for cheating people out of their money at the casino.

Footnotes

[1] KHRG trains community members in southeast Burma/Myanmar to document individual human rights abuses using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar.  When writing situation updates, community members are encouraged to summarise recent events, raise issues that they consider to be important, and present their opinions or perspective on abuse and other local dynamics in their area.

[2] In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in southeast Burma/Myanmar, KHRG aims to make all field information received available on the KHRG website once it has been processed and translated, subject only to security considerations. For additional reports categorised by Type, Issue, Location and Year, please see the Related Readings component following each report on KHRG’s website.

[3] Border Guard Force (BGF) battalions of the Tatmadaw were established in 2010, and they are composed mostly of soldiers from former non-state armed groups, such as older constellations of the DKBA, which have formalised ceasefire agreements with the Burma/Myanmar government and agreed to transform into battalions within the Tatmadaw. BGF battalions are assigned four digit battalion numbers, whereas regular Tatmadaw infantry battalions are assigned two digit battalion numbers and light infantry battalions are identified by two or three-digit battalion numbers.  For more information, see “DKBA officially becomes Border Guard Force,” Democratic Voice of Burma, August 2010; and, “Exploitation and recruitment under the DKBA in Pa’an District,” KHRG, June 2009.

[4] Hpapun Township is a Burma/Myanmar government demarcation in Kayin State, which corresponds to the Karen townships of Lu Thaw, Dwe Lo and Bu Tho, which are located in the Karen demarcated district of Hpapun, Karen State.

[5] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the June 16th 2015 official market rate of 1,113.40 kyat to the US $1.

[6] KHRG has received numerous reports of human rights violations committed by soldiers from Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1014, including killing, torture, violent abuse, explicit threats, arbitrary taxation and demands and land confiscation. For more information, see “Human rights violations by Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1014 in Bu Tho Township, Hpapun District, May 2012 to March 2014,” KHRG, July 2015.

[7] The researcher is stating his opinion that this gambling incident could be reported by villagers to the KNU, who would have to advocate on their behalf with the Burma/Myanmar administration, thus adding to existing tensions between the two administrations in this mixed control area.

[8] Company Commander Saw Tin Win from BGF’s Battalion #1014 has been implicated in human rights violations, such as torture and killing, as well as land confiscation and forced labour. For more information regarding these abuses and those of other officers in BGF Battalion #1014 see, “Human rights violations by Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1014 in Bu Tho Township, Hpapun District, May 2012 to March 2014,” KHRG, June 2015.